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Posts tagged ‘sketch’


Before The Blossom

Just finished this painting I’ve been working on for a few weeks.

photo-9Calling it ‘Before The Blossom’ – it’s based on a sketch of the blossom tree a number of weeks back when the branches were bare, well before the blossom arrived. It’s painted in acrylics and emulsion (I had some paint sample pots lying around!).

Let me know what you think.



Back To Barbara

Fortunately, this coming weekend is a busy one, otherwise I might be feeling a little adrift after finishing the short drawing course I’ve been on at Tate Liverpool. It’s been an excellent few weeks and I’d like to think I’ve learnt a lot in that time. Certainly I feel my confidence levels have risen. And after being directed to wander into the gallery and draw, any inhibitions about drawing in front of others has all but vanished.


Asked to draw two artworks together I’d struggled to find what I wanted and was surprised later to discover that the main item was, in fact, another Barbara Hepworth piece called Two Forms (1933). You can’t see it from here, but in the distance was a painting called Large Black Landscape (1946) by Jean Dubuffet.

Odd then, that I’d started and finished the course by drawing pieces by Barbara Hepworth, an artist I’d not known very much about before.

Here’s a weblink for those of you who might be interested –

Anyway, here was my first sketch last Saturday morning.


There’s the Dubuffet painting in the bottom left. Pleased though I was with this, I was soon back in the Tate’s studio and set about working up another sketch based on the first one. This time I was using chalk pastels. See what you think.


My challenge now is to keep drawing as I move towards my first attempts at oil painting in a little while.


Taking A Line For A Walk

Apparently it was the German-Swiss painter, Paul Klee, who said that drawing was essentially like taking a line for a walk.

That’s precisely what I got to do on my drawing course at the Tate yesterday, although at times it felt more like taking my 11 month old Labrador, Henry, for a walk – unpredictable, shall we say?


After the tutorial was over and I was let loose in the gallery, I found this piece – Hanging Disc Toy – by Chinese artist, Li Yuan-chia.

The remit was simply to create a number of quick sketches to bring back to the studio of a range of modern pieces. This was the one I made of Hanging Disc Toy.


Pleased that my tutor and a fellow student both expressed the view that my drawing has freed up somewhat over the last few weeks.

Next up was a sketch from a piece by Robert Adams – Space Construction With A Spiral.


And yes, that’s me working with wire and a pair of pliers as I try to turn the image into a 3 dimensional structure. See what you think.


This is my 3-D piece on a white background and lit by a spotlight. Comments welcome!


Gabo Time

Week 2 of my drawing course at Tate Liverpool and I’m being challenged to use my drawing to represent a 3 dimensional object in an abstract manner. I chose to have a go at a piece by Naum Gabo – Construction; Stone With A Collar, 1933.


The tutor suggested that we sketch our chosen object from three angles. Here’s my sketch.


After nearly an hour we returned to the studio and were invited to develop our sketches using whichever materials we wanted. I chose pastels and this is the end result.


A little rough round the edges but not bad to have completed this plus the original sketch in just three hours.

For those of you interested in finding out more about the work of Naum Gabo you might want to check out this site –


Getting Edgy

As part of my preparation for beginning to paint with oils I’ve embarked on a drawing course at Tate Liverpool. I want to improve my drawing skills and meet new people to talk Art. And to receive some high quality coaching along the way. We’re using a current exhibition at the Tate called Constellations –


The piece I chose to sketch was this Barbara Hepworth piece. I was drawn to its colour and foolishly thought it would be a relatively simple piece to draw. Here are a few preliminary attempts.


A few more attempts and this was my final piece.


The tutor suggested going back into the gallery to have a go at a different drawing. This time I chose a piece by Sam Gilliam called Simmering.

Here’s a detail from the original.


And this was my sketch.


More from the drawing course next week. In the meantime, any feedback very welcome.


Happy Amateur

Spent a few days with artist friends over in Ruthin, North Wales. Must be honest, they’d stayed in their caravan – a.k.a. ‘the love tin’, while we’d stayed in some luxury at the nearby Manorhaus Hotel. The awning of the caravan served as a very useful informal art room and shelter from the rain outside.

Here’s a pen and ink sketch of some trees in the distance that I did after a hearty lunch.


And at the entrance to the farmer’s field was this unusual tree – we decided it should be called the candelabra tree for reasons that might be obvious.


I’m currently reading The Yellow House by Martin Gayford – based on an intense 9 week period Vincent Van Gogh spent in Arles in Southern France with fellow artist, Gauguin. You may care to check out this review –

Now I’m no Van Gogh or Gauguin – merely a happy amateur – but I do get the appeal of a special location for painting and drawing – and this area around Ruthin is the area that works for me. Here are a couple of shots to give you the idea.


A virtual deluge the evening before had left the grass looking particularly lush.


The speed of the brook also testifies to the previous night’s weather.

Finally, one more of my pen and ink sketches – this time looking out across the farmland to the hills in the distance.



Clifftop Fields – Saltburn

I’ve been working up on the North East coast of England recently and renting a cottage high on the cliffs above Saltburn. The weather has been bitterly cold but that’s not stopped me from walking on the clifftops outside the cottage. Amazing views across the North Sea. Plenty of material for sketching. Here’s one I made of the fields high up on the cliffs. Comments welcome.



Tate St.Ives

St.Ives in Cornwall was a haven for a thriving artistic community in the 20th Century and these days is justifiably proud to be home to Tate St.Ives.

This is an offer in acrylics that I painted from a sketch I made in a cafe outside the gallery looking back towards this promontory.

I make no claims for the artistic merit of this work. Here goes.



Apple Tree Again

Fired up by seeing my old art classmates’ biennial exhibition in Liverpool last night, and in need of a break from work this afternoon, I tackled that old favourite – the apple tree in the garden. There are actually two apple trees but this one has the more interesting shape I think. Sketched entirely in pencil by the way. Feedback welcome. Meanwhile, back to work ..


Taking a Break

First attempt at working up a sketch made on the beach on La Manga strip. The unwitting subject had been walking up and down the beach for hours in scorching temperatures trying to sell trinkets. Here he is taking a break after a quick paddle in the Mediterranean. Unfinished masterpiece!